NAO Update
Provided as a NAO member benefit
October 14, 2013

1. From the Executive Director's (Recently Cleaned!) Desk
Washington, D.C. Update
Recently, an NAO Action Alert went out to you all--the NAO Membership--regarding activities in D.C. related to the Government Shutdown that might have been a little confusing. To clarify: The AHEC Program is funded for the current fiscal year (FY14; the one we are currently in and appropriated to $28.211 million) and activities should proceed as they normally would, despite non-essential staff at HHS/HRSA and the AHEC Branch being furloughed. FY14 Federal Funding supports AHEC Program Year FY15--the year that will start for us on 9/1/14 and go through to 8/31/15. Please read through carefully.

Below is a legislative and appropriations update as prepared by the NAO Public Policy Leadership Team (ALL INFORMATION IS CURRENT TO 10/9/13 AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE). Please let me know if you have any questions regarding the notes below or the legislative process in general. We will likely have additional information to share with you all very soon that may come via an Action Alert.

October 1st saw the start of a new fiscal year (FY2014). No appropriations bills were passed leading to government shutdown.

  1. The Senate and House are continuing to go back and forth.
  2. House Republicans are opening up the government program by program; however, the Democrats are voting against the reopening of these high-priority programs because they want to see an opening of the entire government vs. piece by piece.
  3. Federal workers may receive back pay from the furlough (paid vacation).
  4. The Shutdown is lasting longer than expected. Debt reduction talks are being dragged into the discussion on refunding the government (Debt Ceiling begins Oct 17th)
  5. Speaker Boehner is using the debt ceiling as a leverage device. The appropriations bill will open up with a deficit deal. President Obama is urging the speaker to hold a clean CR vote; however, Speaker Boehner says he can't pass one. The President wants him to prove it, but the vote for a clean CR will most likely be delayed. 22 Republicans in the House are willing to do a clean CR bill. Congressman Peter King is an example of someone speaking up about the actions of his party and the need to pass a clean CR so that the government can be funded for the year
  6. Prior to the shutdown, the Senate had passed an L-HHS Appropriations bill, whereas the House had not. If the appropriations bills are reopened, either the L-HHS programs will be funded at the Senate level or a CR will ensue. Either way, it is likely that AHECs will have funding for whenever this glacier on appropriations is moved.

While the House has spent the last two weeks trying to unravel the ACA and the Senate has responded by defending it at every turn, October 1st ushered in the implementation of one of the ACA's centerpiece provisions—the health insurance exchanges or marketplaces. The exchanges are designed to provide one-stop-shopping for consumers reviewing options for health insurance coverage. By all accounts, traffic on the nationwide exchange ( has been significant, sometimes overwhelming the capacity of the website.

Everything You Wanted to Know About the Government Shutdown
This info is from last week regarding the Government Shutdown, though it provides a good overview of what is continuing and what is suspended. Click here to see it.

NAO Strategic Planning Meeting
As you know, the NAO Board of Directors and Committee Chairs will be meeting in Crystal City, VA November 20-22, 2013 for a strategic planning meeting. The agenda is nearly complete and I'm very excited about the opportunity to strengthen our organization and continue to make strides towards meeting our mission. While we put the finishing touches on the agenda, I can share with you that we will be engaging Elizabeth Scott from Brighter Strategies--as we did 2 years ago--as our facilitator on Thursday, November 21, and she will help guide the board, committees, and me through a retrospective of what has previously worked per the existing NAO strategic plan, what challenges remain, and what opportunities are on the horizon. Additionally, Liz will help us to identify the next "way forward" inclusive of organizational operations, key initiatives, and organizational structure. There is a lot riding on this meeting, and I'm thrilled to roll up my sleeves and get to work with our board members and committee chairs to help NAO grow. Only 6 short weeks to go!

Title VII: Adapting to the Changing Needs of the Health Care Workforce
Click here to see an article penned by Rebecca Greenberg of the AAMC regarding the importance of Title VII Programs; it's worth a quick look. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Health Profession Educational Assistance Act—the first comprehensive legislation to address the supply of health care providers. Since President John F. Kennedy signed the act into law in 1963, we know firsthand that Title VII programs created by the legislation have evolved to adapt to the changing needs of the health care workforce.

Have a great week, and enjoy the cool fall days!


2. ERC Survey of Membership Affiliations with ERC Partners, Workgroups/Collaborative Initiatives, and Organizations of Interest

The External Relations Committee (ERC) of the National AHEC Organization (NAO) is charged with establishing guidelines and principles for prioritizing NAO relationships with external organizations, coupled with managing and evaluating external relations operations. ERC has compiled a listing of 31 organizations and collaborative initiative workgroups for which we are either tracking, developing and overseeing formal agreements or monitoring workgroups, etc.

However, before moving forward, ERC deemed it necessary to gather information on the relationships of the NAO network AHEC Program Offices and regional AHECs with any of the ERC prioritized organizations or workgroup initiatives. As a member of NAO, your input is very valuable to us. ERC wants to hear from you.

The information ascertained from the survey will be shared with NAO Board Members during the NAO Board Meeting in November. This information will be helpful to us as we advance the strategic planning process.

Click here to get to the survey.

3. Joining Forces Wellness Week 2013 Webinar Series November 11-15, 2013

Registration now open! The AAMC is pleased to host Joining Forces Wellness Week (JFWW) November 11-15, 2013. Our cornerstone event is a webinar series highlighting the health and wellness concerns of military service members, veterans, and their families. We are delighted to offer the perspectives of presenters from across the country on these important issues and invite your school to participate in all or part of the series. View the most current schedule.

You may register for the entire series or selected days. Please note that some days offer both a webinar lecture presentation and a patient demonstration. When you sign up for those days, you'll be able to see both, but you may choose to attend either session if your schedule does not permit both. If you would like to register for the webinar series, or individual sessions, please register here. We encourage schools to register as a group, rather than as individuals, as our available registrations are limited. Once you register, you will be sent reminders closer to the webinar date. If you are unable participate, the webinars will be available later each day through the AAMC Joining Forces Web site.

Questions? Program: Anita Navarro, (202) 741-0997, or Marcy Sutherland, (202) 828-0251, Logistics: Chanel Ricks,, 202-828-0892

4. Health Insurance Marketplace Info on Navigators to Offer Assistance

Click here to get some helpful information and tips.

Mission Statement: The National AHEC Organization supports and advances the AHEC Network to improve health by leading the nation in the recruitment, training and retention of a diverse health workforce for underserved communities.

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Executive Director Rob Trachtenberg | 414-908-4953 |

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